BIR targets dormitories, boarding houses tax drive

By Zinnia B. Dela Pena, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jul 14 2014 06:51 AM | Updated as of Jul 14 2014 02:51 PM

MANILA - The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is setting its sights on owners of dormitories and boarding houses as part of the government’s intensified drive against tax fraud and tax evasion.

The BIR has launched “Resibo sa Upa Mo Katumbas ay Premyo” program, which allows students staying in rooming houses or dormitories in Manila a chance to earn cash just by remitting to the agency the receipts or invoices issued by their landlords.

The BIR’s Manila Revenue Region director Araceli Francisco said the project came about after the agency noted the low tax compliance by operators of rooming houses.

She likewise noted the failure by most lodging operators to register their businesses with the BIR.

The program’s goal is to boost revenue collections and ensure that owners of boarding houses and dormitories pay the correct taxes.

The BIR will only accept receipts or any proof of payment that were issued by the lodging operators beginning Jan. 1 this year.

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Participants may drop their receipts at drop boxes located in various universities and colleges in Manila as well as in some branches of the National Bookstore.

The BIR will hold weekly draws beginning July 23, with the grand draw set on Aug. 23.

The program is also aimed at addressing the perennially low income tax collection in the self-employed, businesses and professionals segment.

The government is reportedly losing an amount equivalent to four percent of the economy’s gross domestic product every year due to tax evasion and income under-declaration.